Love is a universal language. It’s what binds us together. Love is everywhere. It’s between a mother and her child, two partners, friends, animals and humans, and us and our passions. It’s a driving force for us to live better lives and move forward in our journeys. Relationship expert Esther Perel states, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” This applies to every relationship in our lives including ourselves.
What I want to highlight is that oftentimes, we think our lives are stripped of love or that we are incapable of loving because of how tough and how complex life could get. We think that any love we feel or receive should be a given and should be effortless. It should always flow in abundance. We shy away when difficult moments come up because we don’t know how to deal with them. We think love always feels good. But love is a verb. Love is a constant exercise. It’s a muscle you grow. You have to keep watering it for it to blossom. The quality of your life is determined by your relationships, and your relationships are determined by how willing you are to love those around you and understand them. It is determined by how willing you are to look at an imperfect person and still love them.
People panic when uncomfortable situations arise, when honesty and vulnerability arise. They quit and feel disappointed when they reach road blocks in their relationships. But these things are inevitable. You are your own person and it’s normal that you are going to differ with others. It’s normal that there will be highs and lows. It’s the natural ebb and flow of life, but the real question is are you willing to overcome these hurdles together because you care about each other? That’s the most important thing. Are you willing to love another in their truest essence?
There is something I read once where a man wrote that the love he felt for his wife is far superior and nothing compared to what he felt for her on their wedding day. I love what he said because we often think that we love those in our lives the hardest and easily in the beginning of us knowing them before shit hits the fan. Yet he depicted the sentiment I want to express delicately. Love grows, and it can grow deeper and deeper depending on how far we are willing to go; depending on how much we are willing to give, receive, and explore.
You can love the people in your life more than the day before because you two are still existing and you have the chance to better the quality of your relationships. Conflict is not an indication of a lack of love, nor does an effort to communicate mean that things are not going well. These are the foundations of loving people. The foundation upon which so many beautiful things that are the result of love such as trust, peace, comfort, joy, and common grounds and growth.
We should know that difficult conversations are an invitation for vulnerability and therefore a greater level of intimacy. Conflict makes us know the person in front of us better so that we love them better. Every tough round makes you stronger. There is no shame in fighting, in making mistakes and in making it work better than yesterday. This is what love and the journey of it is all about. We let all kinds of insecurities and fears get in the way of something that could potentially be good because of a societal construct that is misleading. Effort is underrated, but effort is so sexy. Effort and consistency is what keeps anything growing instead of deteriorating. Great love is often a culmination of great and difficult moments that we pass through together hand in hand.
Your friends and family and lovers are in it for the storms and sunshine. They are with you through all shades of life, because that is the point of intertwining our souls with one another so closely. So instead of trying to formulate an ideal formula for relationships, experience what is in your life fully and embrace it, work at it gently and watch the fruitful outcomes. Experience love in its rawest forms and let it grow so profoundly in your heart and let yourself be loved in return.